When creating a power of attorney document, you must make sure every last detail is 100 percent accurate. Any mistake could go a long way in impacting you and/or your family later in life.
Before we get into the most common power of attorney mistakes, here is something to consider: when you hire an experienced estate planning attorney to guide you through the process, you never have to concern yourself with making an error. Instead, there will be somebody on your side at all times who can show you what you should and should not be doing.
Here are five of the most common mistakes:
1. Choosing the wrong person to act as your attorney in fact. Remember, you are giving this person a lot of power. If you make a poor decision, you never know what could happen down the line.
2. Failing to create a power of attorney. Just as bad as choosing the wrong person to act as your attorney in fact is skipping over this process altogether. There are many benefits of having a power of attorney, and if you don’t create this document you could end up regretting it in the future.
3. Failing to update your power of attorney when necessary. There are many situations in which you may want to update this document. For instance, if you move to another state you will need to make some changes. Or maybe you want to change the attorney in fact. If you have any questions about whether or not your power of attorney needs altered, contact an estate planning attorney for assistance.
4. Giving the attorney in fact too much power. This is a mistake that many people have made in the past, and one that you want to avoid in the future. Unless you trust this person with every aspect of your life, be careful of how much power you grant him or her.
5. Rushing through the process of creating a power of attorney. Nobody wants to think about what would happen if they were to become incapacitated. That being said, if you rush through this process you could end up missing out on important details or making bad decisions.
Now that you are aware of these common mistakes, you can sit down with a qualified attorney to discuss which steps to take next. It may be time for you to create a power of attorney document.